Press Release #15


14 October 2015, the fifteenth day of KSEVT’s cofounder Miha Turšič’s hunger strike

Today was a loooong day. The session at the National Council began at 9 a.m. The Minister came accompanied by the entire Creativity Directorate, which did not utter a word during the whole session. Naturally, she was the only one to speak. But the only thing she had to say was that the accounting documentation was incomplete and that raging artists, who come to her ministry to throw tables around, are giving her righteous officials, who are no lawbreakers, a very tough time.

The Members of the Council, on the other hand, were great! They concluded the session by adopting resolutions that address all of my claims. In the third resolution, they even demonstrated their anger and pointed to a resolution they had adopted 10 days ago, saying that they recommend the government raise the share of the budget allocated to culture to 1% of the GDP!

Later that afternoon, I got a visit from the Prime Minister at the Museum of Modern Art. He was well acquainted with the issues at hand, and our conversation revolved around the core of the matter. He assured me that all the necessary measures will be taken for KSEVT to be established in an appropriate form.

The session of the Committee for Culture at the National Assembly began at 5 p.m. Even more officials from the Ministry of Culture showed up, and they were even quieter than in the morning. The Minister hijacked the initiative for an interdepartmental search for solutions for KSEVT (sic!). Tellingly enough, she concluded that KSEVT’s programme positioned it elsewhere, certainly not in the framework of the Ministry of Culture. The discussion that followed this statement sounded anything but a harmonious symphony in her support. Except for Božidar Novak, the famous novelist, whose escapade, worthy of a paid henchman, touched the very bottom of the sewers that his articles kept filling up over the past days, the other discussants managed to tell the seeds from the chaff and emphasized that the case of KSEVT is a symptom of bad conditions in culture and society in general.

The Secretary of State from the Cabinet of the Prime Minister presented a proposal that addresses the second claim of my hunger strike. By and large, the proposed solution envisages establishing a Slovenian Space Agency, where KSEVT would be one of the stakeholders. It would fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy, which would make it possible for the Agency to benefit from synergies between the economy, science, education, and culture. I am well aware that there is still a long way to go before we reach a functional solution, but this approach is promising.

And nothing was said regarding my other two claims! But, you know, what transformed KSEVT from a perfectly functional legal-formal form into a catastrophe in the first place, were precisely the conditions that I am addressing in points 1 and 3! What is there to reassure us that officials, who are incapable of dialogue, and a general lack of funding won’t result in another round of hell for KSEVT despite this new organizational solution? Politics should consciously make sure its decisions come to life! Because it just might happen that the moment politicians, who act in our favour, leave the dance-floor of the government, the project is torn apart by officials and their inexplicable non/decisions.

The situation we are currently faced with is grotesque. The Ministry of Culture that created this radical state of affairs seems to be coming out absolutely victorious. No one can do anything about their incompetent officials, they almost managed to get rid of KSEVT and at the same time secure excellent starting points to increase the share of the budget allocated to culture that the Minister will proceed to (as she emphasized on several occasions today) hand over to cultural heritage, which her expert opinion considers as the most undernourished aspect of the Ministry of Culture. A world gone wrong.

We are not there yet. I therefore continue with my hunger strike!

Press Release #15